According to the press release, the new 170,000 square foot facility in Chatham is expected to create up to 150 new jobs.
Automotive News reports, after Chatham Daily News, that the company initially might invest $40 million within 18 months (potentially more in the future) and produce some 60,000 battery enclosures annually, with an option to expand to upwards of 120,000 units annually. That gives us glimpses of the expected production volume of the electric pickup truck itself.
Magna underlines that its battery enclosures are innovative and currently the largest lightweight aluminum battery enclosures on the market. Inside the enclosure are batteries (98 or 131 kWh of usable capacity), electrical components, sensors, and connectors.
It's worth noting that the latest Ford F-150 model is known for its wide use of aluminum to reduce weight. In the case of the all-electric version, which must carry relatively heavy batteries, weight matters even more. This is why enclosures are usually made of lightweight materials.
Production of the Ford F-150 Lightning will take place in Michigan, while the market launch is set for Spring of this year.
Mark Johnson, Magna’s Formet Industries General Manager said:
“With the hard work of our team members in our Formet, St. Thomas facility, we have been able to secure additional business that allows us to grow in two great communities. We are coming to Chatham with new job opportunities working on an exciting new technology that offers a lot of growth potential.”
For suppliers like Magna, electrification is a major opportunity as carmakers around the world need a lot of all-new components for their all-new vehicles.
For example, earlier this year, Magna's company in China started the production of eDrive systems (for the front axle) for Volkswagen's Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) platform.